“As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:12-23)
Reflecting on this reading brings back a childhood memory. In the summertime my sisters and I walked a quarter of a mile from our farm to our country schoolhouse for a week of Bible School. I loved it! We memorized Bible verses and listened to Bible stories. The best part of the day was singing. We learned many songs with actions relating to the words.
One of the songs we sang was "I Will Make You Fishers of Men." One of the lines is, "If you follow me." I don't think I grasped the whole meaning of this song at that time, but now as an adult I know the fishermen's act of leaving everything and following Jesus must have been very hard for their families to understand. Franciscan Priest and Author Richard Rohr wrote in one of his books that in all of the Gospels, Jesus never asked people to worship Him, but He did ask people to follow Him and follow His teachings.
The invitation to follow brings to mind my dog, Doolie, and the way he pauses to look back with his big, black eyes to see if I am following him as he heads for the pasture. Every time this happens, my heart is touched. Even though my dog is a muscular yellow Lab, he needs my help to live as well as he does. Doolie is part of our family, and we all benefit from his unconditional love.
Perhaps Jesus' invitation to the fishermen to follow Him reveals that Jesus knew He could not complete His life mission by Himself. He needed help. We continue to help Him and follow His teachings when we participate in the mission of Avera.
ISAIAH 8:23-9:3 •PSALM 27:1, 4, 13-14 • 1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-13, 17 • MATTHEW 4:12-23 OR MATTHEW 4:12-17